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new collaboration called the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP) has been launched to discover and map all the genes that contribute to Alzheimer's disease. The innovative effort, spanning universities from both Europe and the United States, will combine the knowledge, staff and resources of four groups that currently conduct research on Alzheimer genetics:
The European Alzheimer's Disease Initiative at the Institute Pasteur de Lille and Lille University (France)
The Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (United States)
The Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer's Disease at Cardiff University (United Kingdom).
The neurology subgroup of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging in Genomic Epidemiology at Boston University (United States)
The skyrocketing prevalence and cost of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias will soon undermine the delivery of healthcare worldwide. That gives innovative collaborations like this new international genomics project added incentive to act quickly and boldly to make new discoveries.
Identification of genes that contribute to Alzheimer risk and that influence the progression of disease will help lead us to the causes of the disease, identify new targets for drug development and provide methods for determining which people are at greatest risk for Alzheimer's. By working together, the four groups can amass a large enough group of participants to accelerate gene discovery. Formation of IGAP creates a shared resource database that includes genetic data for the more than 40,000 individuals.
ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION INVOLVEMENT
The formation of IGAP is funded by the Alzheimer's Association and the Fondation Plan Alzheimer.
"We're pleased to fund this project that will bring together well-established and highly regarded research groups throughout the world to enable an unprecedented sharing and analysis of Alzheimer genetic data," said William Thies, Ph.D., Alzheimer's Association chief medical and scientific officer.
IGAP expects to present its first findings at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (AAICAD) in Paris, July 16-21, 2011.